The Odyssey Live Chats from India !
<Moderator>We are already accepting questions, so if you want to get one in early, go ahead and send below!
<Moderator> We are delighted to announce that we will also be joined by World Trekker Jasmine. So feel free to send questions for her as well!
<Moderator> Good morning! The folk in India are ready to go and we are already receiving a lot of questions. Keep them coming and we'll get the chat rolling in about 5 or ten minutes!
<Moderator> OK, we are ready to begin! First, let me welcome everyone who is joining us, especially in India.
<Moderator> What time is it there? What's the weather like for you?
<Shahana> Hello! I am Shahana. I am a teacher and a health worker too in the slums
<Shahana> It is 9.00 p.m. right now. The weather is pleasant now a days. It is cold in the nights
<Sonu> Hi, I am a teacher and a student too. I welcome you all over there
<Israil> I am a student, a teacher for younger children and learning typing here
<Abu> Hi I am Abu, I am a supervisor inthe non-formal educational program called the gali schools here. We teach children in the streets
<Hafeeza> Hello, I am Hafeeza, I am a teacher and also a student of class tenth
<Moderator> Can you tell us how old you all are?
<Shahana> I am 18
<Sonu> I am 20 years old.
<Israil> I am 18
<Abu> I am 21.
<Hafeeza> And I am 17
<Moderator> Here comes the first question from the audience.
<Angela (Alexandria, VA)> I want to know what you did today so I can know what your life is like. Did you go to school?
<Shahana> No I did not go to school. I studied at home as I am a student of an open school and I do not have to attend school regularly. Instead I have to work everyday
<Sonu> I too am a student of open school. Fridays are very busy for me as I attend an crafts class where I learn how to make collages from waste material
<Sonu> Crafts created by me would be exhibited in Tokyo next month
<Abu> I interacted with the students and teachers of the gali schools and told them their targets for the day.
<Salman> Hi ! This is Salman here. I am seven years old and a student in the gali schools here at Yamuna Pushta.
<Israil> I went to typing school. I am a student in 11th class. I too am a student in the open school
<Hafeeza> I went to school for my classes and also computer classes. After that I went to take my gali school classes and took the children to the park for their recreation.
<Salman> I went to school and to the park
<Salman> I took my mothers permission to participate in the chat
<Maria (Worcester MA)> Where are you from?
<Shahana> I am from a state called Uttar Pradesh in India, But now we are permanently residing in Delhi for the last 12 years
<Sonu> I am a resident of Delhi since birth. We have been living here since the last 20 years, otherwise my parents too are from Uttar Pradesh
<Israil> I am originally from a very small village in west bengal, in the easetrnpart of India For the last six months, we are living in Yamuna Pushta, Delhi
<Abu> I too am originally from West Bengal. For the last four years, I am living at delhi and associated with the educational programmes being run in Yamuna Pushta
<Hafeeza> I am from West Bengal too, For the last two years I have been living in Delhi.
<Salman> We are all Indians
<Moderator> Jasmine Chatman-Hamlett - World Trekker Extraordinaire - has joined is now!!! Jasmine traveled with the World Trek all the way from Africa through the Middle East to India and China and is now back home in L.A. Welcome, Jazzy!
<Trekker Jasmine> Hey ALL! It's so nice to be here today! Thanks for joiing us!
<Salman> Hi Jazzy, Do you know me?
<Trekker Jasmine> Hi Salman. I do believe we met. How are you?
<Beba (Worcester)> How are you Doing Jasmine.
<Salman> I am seven years old but old enough to say that you did not meet me. It was Kavitha and Monica who met me here. Otherwise I am just fine. How are You?
<Trekker Jasmine> Hi Beba, I'm wonderful. It's great to be back home.
<Gemma (San Francisco, CA)> Have you ever traveled outside of India?
<Shahana> I will answer on behalf of everyone. None of us have traveled outside India.
<Silvia (Portland, Oregon)> Our teacher told us about a movie star that was kidnapped in India. Can you tell us about that.
<Sonu> Yes. Renowned film star of south India was kidnapped from his farm house by a notorious Sandalwood smuggler and has been confined in the dense forests for the last two months. The smuggler named Veerappan has been running his reign of terror for the last twenty years and has created havoc in the states of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh and has killed many people including those in the armed forces.
<Sonu> The film star is named Raaj Kumar
<Justin (Portland, Oregon)> I want to know how poor you are. Because it sounds like life is not easy where you live? Can I visit sometime?
<Israil> Yes you are very welcome to visit us here. We are all very poor. Had we not been poor we would not have migrated to Delhi in search of jobs. We have to struggle a lot over here and that is why we cannot study in regular schools as we have to compromise with ourschool going timings and work to supplement our family income. Life is not easy, but is very challenging and we like overcoming them with a smile on our faces. Come see the efforts.
<Sage (Tallahasee, Florida)> so do you really have elephants? have you seen one? do you like horses? do you know what an orca is?
<Moderator> It seems that the connection with India has been lost for a moment. We'll go ahead and post the next question, so they can answer when they return.
<Trekker Jasmine> Hey Sage, since the connection dropped for a moment. I'll go ahead and answer one of your questions.
<Karen ()> I want to know what you eat?
<Trekker Jasmine> Yes, they really do have elephants!
<Trekker Jasmine> I had the extreme pleasure of being blessed by an elephant named Lexmi at a Hindu temple in Hampi.
<Trekker Jasmine> It was really sweet. You hand your offering to the elephant. She takes it and places it in the offering bin and places her trunk on your head to bless you!
<Moderator> Jasmine you want to go ahead and finish answering the questions as the time is almost up? When we reconnect with India we'll go ahead and post their answers in the transcripts.
<Trekker Jasmine> Sure!
<Hafeeza> Yes we have lots of elephants. I have seen many. I love horses as they run very fast and are very useful to humans. I do not know what an orca is.
<Trekker Jasmine> It seems that the last question came from Karen.
<Trekker Jasmine> Hey Karen! Indian food varies around the country. And each region is known for different styles of cooking.
<Trekker Jasmine> Some food is cooked with a lot of coconut milk, some food is very spicy.
<Trekker Jasmine> My favorite is dal, which is lentils. I also love chipaties, a soft bread, similar to a tortilla that goes with most any meal.
<Trekker Jasmine> In general, Indian food consists of lots of vegetables, cooked in delicious masalas (or spice mixes).
<Lisa> I have lots of pets, and was wondering if you have pets?
<Sonu> I had once a pet dog named Pepsi, white in colour but he is no longer with me.
<Shahana> I once had a beautiful parrot. He used to repeat everything we said in front of him. He used to call us our names and also used to say Hello and Hi to all of us
<Andrea (Seattle, Washington)> Do you believe in God? What religion are you?
<Israil> I have a guinea pig. He never leaves our home. He always stays inside, but nevert dirties the place. He comes when we call him for food, eats and returns to his silent abode. I had a parrot too, but he flew away.
<Hafeeza> I have immense faith in God. He is the almighty. I am a Muslim.
<Shahana> I too am a Muslim. I have reasonable faith in God. I pray at times.
<Sonu> I always teach my students about God and stories connected to him with a view to inculcate their faith in God. It helps.
<Abu> I am a Muslim. I have immense faith in god.
<Moderator> Well, that's all the time we have today. Thanks everyone for your participation. Thanks to the folk in India and to you all here in the US. I would like to remind you when our next live chats are : USTrek chat next Wednesday Oct. 18th and the next World Trek chat is from a Palestinian Refugee Camp Monday November 6th. Hope to see you then! Thanks again everyone.
<Trekker Jasmine> Thank you all for joiing us! See you again on the 18th!
<Shahana> I would like to thank you all for interacting with us. It was a wonderful opportunity for us to share with you. We do not knwo whether we will ever meet, but may God bless you all wherever you are and may you all achieve what you aim to achieve. Little Salman is very happy to be chatting with you all. He says good bye to all of you on behalf of everyone over here and at the India Vision Foundation.
<Trekker Jasmine> Don't forget to keep in touch. Email me or any of the trekkers whenever you like!
<Moderator> Goodbye all!